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Leading opposition party’s alliance with overseas conservatives raises a lot of questions

Collin Bloom and Akufo-Addo
Collin Bloom and Akufo-Addo

You have never heard of him because he is an unknown quantity; his name does not a ring bell among Ghanaians. Yet, he has succeeded in creating controversy and anger with his brazen and crass interference in our political process.

Colin Bloom, a high ranking British politician—–he is the outreach director for the conservative party in Britain —- raised a lot of eyebrows last week with his challenge to Ghanaians to change their government and with his smart remark that Ghanaians deserve better.

He was also very effusive in endorsing the opposition presidential candidate, who he described as someone who will take on the leadership of the country and transform Ghana adding that, “we know and you know that Ghana deserves better.”

Mr. Bloom’s remarks made at the International Young Democrats Union Freedom Forum organized by the NPP immediately drew  a sharp rebuke from Ms Hannah Tetteh, minister for foreign affairs and regional integration, who asked Mr Bloom to concentrate on the conservative party’s current woes ( sorting out the Brexit mess and electing a new leader) instead of poking his nose in the political affairs of another country.

I struggle to come up with the name of a single foreigner of political substance or heft, who in the past, has been bold enough to explicitly instruct Ghanaians on who to vote for in a general elections.

It has never happened before. Mr. Bloom’s blatant foray into Ghanaian politics is unprecedented. His utterances are stunning and unfortunate. That a foreign politician with no apparent discernible stakes in Ghana would dare make such statements is mind boggling.

It is hard to imagine the conservative party in Britain or the Republican party in the USA inviting a prominent local opposition politician to tell the English or Americans who is best suited to run their country.

I find it difficult to understand why the leading opposition party in Ghana would elect to align itself with overseas conservative parties, sharing the same political ideology notwithstanding. The warm relations between the British conservative party and the NPP is well documented.

And there is plenty of evidence suggesting that the Republican party in the United States has a cozy relations with our nation’s biggest opposition party.

There is so much that is wrong with the NPP’s relations with the British and American conservative parties. I have apprehensions about the relations and they are rooted in the belief that conservative economic, social and political policies are not conducive to our economic and financial needs and our political system.

Free market economic policies and small government are the bedrock of conservative political philosophy. The Republican party in the USA and the Conservative party in Britain have pursued these policies with a zeal that defies description.

What is most worrying about these conservatives is their absolute dislike of big government. Essentially, they want little or no government participation whatsoever in the lives of the governed, and to this end, they unfailingly assail those who want larger government presence, in terms of providing for the most vulnerable in society.

The economic and financial fate of the nation state, conservatives believe, should be left entirely in the hands of the private sector, that is huge multinational corporations and big international financial institutions, who if you look carefully, have always supported conservative causes.

And we all know the devastating financial disaster and ruin these free market policies brought on the people of the world. Remember the global financial implosion in 2008?

Ghana with an fragile economy that is wholly dependent on commodities—-gold, timber and cocoa—–does not need unfettered free market economic policies; they would not serve us well, and if implemented by the NPP should it win the general elections in November, would ultimately create huge economic disparities.

Poor Ghanaians would be the victims. The beneficiaries, as always, will be the big banks and multinational corporations. What Ghana needs is a blend of compassionate conservative economic and generous social policies.

It is not only conservative economic policies that are detrimental to our growth, its social policies are just as wrong. Take the case of abortion for instance. Conservatives are staunchly anti-abortion, and are not gun shy about denying women the right to do take control of their bodies.

Conservative politicians in America, have threatened on numerous occasions in Congress, to withhold much needed funds/money from Planned Parenthood or Family Planning as it is popularly known in Ghana.

This is an organization that has helped millions of Ghanaian women to plan their families and has been very instrumental in controlling population explosions in third world nations. Ghana does not have strict abortion laws, thank God, but who knows what is in store should government change hands.

When it comes to immigration, conservative politicians have been in the forefront of the fight to keep migrants out of their countries. Conservative governments in Britain and the USA have pushed policies that do not favor immigrants. In fact, if they had their way, conservatives will put a complete stop to migration to their countries.

Witness the bluntly absurd statements of Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican Party presidential nominee who has said he will build a wall between the US and Mexico to keep Mexicans out of his country. In addition he has also threatened to bar Muslims from entering the country.

And in Britain, the conservatives started the whole BREXIT campaign which ultimately culminated in Britain voting to leave the Europe Union two weeks ago. Because of the EU’s open border policy which allows the free movement of goods and people among EU member countries, British conservatives tried all they could to sabotage the EU and they finally succeeded.

No one can choose your friends for you. But the friends you choose say a lot about you. By allying itself with conservatives in Britain and the United States, our leading opposition party has declared loud and clear that given the chance to govern, it will take its marching orders from the likes of Mr. Bloom and Mr Trump, not exactly what the doctor prescribed.








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